August 25 – Home Again
So much happened between Socorro and Greencastle that I failed to post any updates. Plus, I was also out of cell range quite a bit of the time.
After visiting the VLA one last time, I then headed south to Las Cruces and onto White Sands National Monument with an overnight in Alamogordo, NM. Eclipse day was spent in Cloudcroft, NM and the very interesting Rosewell, NM. I then drove to Oklahoma City to visit the Oklahoma City Memorial, that was very moving and beautiful, and then headed in the direction of Pawhuska. Yes, my car lead me back to The Mercantile for lunch and a piece of pecan pie for the road. I also had a chance to visit the Catholic Church in Pawhuska. It is the only church in the world that has Native Americans in their stained glass windows. They were absolutely beautiful. The last stop before the long drive home was a return visit to the Tallgrass Prairie outside of Pawhuska and it was well worth the stop. I was lucky enough to find the bison herd crossing the road and I just pulled over, turned off my car, and watched about 500 bison eat lunch and migrate around my car. Thank goodness for a big sunroof.
Pics: White Sands National Monument, Cloudcroft RR Trustle, dumpster in Cloudcroft (all painted with great designs- it's not just trash-it's art), Rosewell Museum, Pawhuska Catholic Church windows, Tallgrass Prairie, Largest soda bottle in the world
August 19 – Gallup to Socorro, NM
Today was a great day on the road. After leaving Gallup, I crossed the Continental Divide (yeah, water is flowing back to the east now) and my first stop was El Morrow National Monument. This is a beautiful area full of sandstone rock formations that also hid reliable water pools for travelers. The rocks have multiple inscriptions and petroglyphs carved into the stone. It's fascinating that some of these signatures go back into the 1800's and many of them are in Spanish. The trails around these rocks and pools are just beautiful (even with the thought of serpents in the grass or on the path).
I then headed to El Malpais to see one of the best preserved lava flow fields in CONUS. Another WOW moment as I drove by miles of lava fields. It was just amazing. I did multiple hikes and really enjoyed this area. I know that this is a place where Jeff and I will return one winter. The last item of the day was a visit to the VLA and the skies did not cooperate; however, it was a great experience. Enjoy the pics.
Oops, I failed to mention my stop at the Pie Town Cafe in Pie Town, NM. I'm sure you get the visual- over 20 pies made daily.
Pics: El Morrow, petroglyphs of big horn sheep, El Malpais arch, El Morrow lizard and flower, VLA (be sure to google VLA for more info)
August 18 – Flagstaff, AZ to Gallup, NM
Whew, what a day and what a journey. Today I saw lots of great sights along my route. Twin Arrows, Two Guns Ghost a Town, Winslow Arizona, the Jack Rabbit Trading Company, Geronimo Trading Company, Wigwam in Holbrook, walked multiple trails in the Petrified Forest and in the Painted Dessert and ended up in Gallup, NM. Great day, Great sites, Great journey (yes, I wish a Jeff was with me but he is doing well)
Pics: Two Guns Ghost Town, the Famous Wigwam Hotel in Holbrook, a petrified tree in the Petrified National Forest, Teepee sandstone hills in the Painted Dessert.
August 17 – Needles, CA to Flagstaff, AZ
Great journey today as I visited Oatman, Kingman, Seligman and Flagstaff Arizona. Oatman is considered a ghost town and it is famous for the burrows that are all around town (six busses confirm the cuteness factor of these burrows). The drive on Route 66 between Oatman and Kingman is beautiful and full of twists and turns. Guess that is why the speed limit is 20 mph for about 20 miles. Seligman is all decked out with Route 66 kitsch and some bizarre shoppes. Old town Flagstaff is wonderful and has some great restaurants.
Pics: Tourist taking a selfie with a burrow in Oatman, scenery traveling from Oatman to Kingman, Train park in Kingman, Olive Oatman (she has an interesting life story). The last three pics are Seligman.
August 16 – Woke up in Sequoia and delivered three food buckets to the pack house for Jeff and his fellow hikers. Then, it was on the road as I head back to Greencastle.
Saw a bit of wildlife this morning, walked around a few big trees, stopped by Edwards Air Force Base, where my brother was stationed, toured a borax mine, checked out Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch and then a quick stop to the very hot Amboy Crater. Overnight in Needles, CA and on to Arizona tomorrow.
Pics: cute with Woodland creature, moss on the trees in forest, Yosemite Valley, El Capitan and Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch.
Pics: Mule deer in Sequoia next to my campsite, giant sequoia and the worlds largest raisin box in CA.